Imagine taking a trip from downtown Minneapolis to upper Minneapolis; only the road map you use makes you go east 400 miles to Chicago and then back to Minneapolis.

That’s what Minneapolis internet traffic had to do before the Midwest Internet Cooperative Exchange (MICE) was formed to establish a peering point.

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Minneapolis data center growth is booming, thanks partly to Minnesota being named the top state for business by CNBC.

A key component of that growth is the use of peering. What advantages and opportunities do data centers receive from peering?

What are the Advantages of Peering?

Companies for whom data sharing, connectivity, and high responsiveness are vital look to peering as a solution for a number of reasons:

  • Latency is greatly reduced because it eliminates data hops and creates a more direct flow, making connections faster.
  • By using an exchange like MICE and combining paths, ISPs improve routing options, which creates greater efficiency and provides increased fault tolerance.
  • Because large amounts of traffic can be exchanged directly between providers, there can be significant cost savings for high-bandwidth sites and networks.

What Does Peering Mean for Minneapolis Data Centers?

The 511 Building in Minneapolis is the most connected building in Minnesota.

Cologix is a data center that focuses exclusively on colocation and interconnectivity. It offers over 75 networks and direct access to MICE, allowing businesses to connect closer to their customers.

That’s why Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., chose Cologix to support its expanded peering efforts. This allows Charter to offer Minnesota and Wisconsin customers peering options other than Chicago, reducing traffic congestion while lowering costs and improving efficiency.

EdgeConneX hosts wireless carriers, CDNs such as CloudFlare, and others.

EdgeConneX is building a remote MICE Node that will provide direct access to the MICE Core Switch located in downtown Minneapolis, eliminating the traffic latency from routing to Chicago for EdgeConneX’s customers.

Cox, for example, uses EdgeConneX to serve customers in the Minneapolis area without relying on content being delivered (at a higher cost) from further away tier-one locations.

The Bottom Line

These are just two of the data centers in Minneapolis that have seen the opportunities peering brings and have used it effectively to bring greater cost savings and user satisfaction to their customers.

Businesses are looking for more direct local connections to deliver faster access - largely driven by the increase in cloud computing, mobile devices, and the exploding market of streaming video. Data centers that utilize peering will be in the driver’s seat.

Do you utilize peering? What advantages of peering do you see for Minneapolis data centers? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.

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